Friday, March 09, 2007

Budapest. That's right suckas. I said it.

Even I don't believe it. I've finally done it. To dream the impossible dream. Without further ado... I present to you... Budapest.

One of the most common and also the most beautiful sights of Budapest are the many bridges that cross over the Danube River.

Going up the hill on the FUNicular. Who wouldn't want to take a ride on something that starts with the word "fun"?!?!

And me acting like a 2nd grader on the FUNicualr. "Hey Mom! I can't thee out of the funicular! I thanding on my tippy toeth and I thill can't thee. Can you pleath lift me up tho I can thee out Dad? Pleeeeeath?"

Exploring around the top of the hill after disembarking the FUNicular. If it's called "deplaning" when you get off a plane, would getting off a FUNicular be called "deFUNicularing"?

It started raining so we ducked into this little cafe for a warm drink and snack. Jason ordered some kind of coffee off the menu and out came this girly thing with whipped cream and sprinkles and a straw. Jason's reaction: "I should've just ordered an Americano."

This, to me, is the definition of true love: The barista asked us if we wanted to try a piece of this homemade traditional Hungarian cake. Hell yes we do thankyouverymuchforasking! Chocolate or Caramel Nut? I assumed Jason wanted the chocolate one because he loves all things chocolate. Jason assumed I wanted the chocolate one because he thought I didn't like nuts in my sweets. So he says "Do you want to try the chocolate one?" So I say "Sure." He says "We'll have the chocolate one please." Then he says "They both look pretty good huh?" Then I say "Mmmmmm-hmmmmm." Then he's all "You don't like nuts in your sweets right?" Then I'm all "Yes I do!" And he's all "Would you rather have the other one then?" And I go "Whichever you want is fine with me." And he goes "You want the caramel one don't you?" And I go "Yeah, you do too don't you?" And he goes "Yep." We nearly ordered the cake neither of us wanted because we both thought the other wanted it. Now, THAT'S romance. And holy mary was that cake good.

After the little break at the coffee shop, it was still raining and we stumbled upon a wine cellar, which offered tastings from all the different wine regions of Hungary. So we go in and this is what they tell us: "So, we give you a tasting glass and some snacks and you go around the cellar at your own pace and try as many different ones as you like. There's at least 50 bottles open down there and you just pick the ones you want to try and pour yourself some." Let me get this straight. This is basically a do-it-yourself wine tasting? Yes, indeed. What a novel concept!! As we were leaving, we asked if sometimes people come in and take advantage of it and get drunk. She said "Yes, usually Americans and Japanese. Japanese because their tolerance is so low and it happens by accident. Americans because they just want to get as much for their money as possible." Classic.

This is one of my favorite things about European cities. You can just be walking along, come around a corner, look up, and be faced with a beautiful view.

That night, we went to dinner at a casual, very traditional Hungarian restaurant. We ordered a sharing plate that had a little bit of everything. When it came, it was piled so high with food, it would have been a crime not to take a picture. To give it a personal twist, we thought it would be hilarious to put it in front of me and act like it was all mine. Are you dying laughing yet?

This is some building we came across. I don't really remember what, exactly, but I just liked the symmetry of the picture so I posted it. I urge you to appreciate the symmetry. Go ahead, APPRECIATE IT!

This is one of Budapest's famous monuments. It's just called "Anonymous". This guy was responsible for writing most of Budapest's ancient history but he never signed his work so nobody knows who he was really. We're told that if you touch his pen, you'll get good luck. Now that I write that out, it sounds a little dirty, no?

After molesting Anonymous, we popped in for a coffee. No fancy schmancy drinks this time. Straight up Americano.

It's quite possible that only Monique and Murray (and maybe Andrea since she's now watching the series) will get this joke but here goes anyway. Check it out! It's our very own version of "Long Way Round"! You know, because the bridge is out?? Get it??? Do you????

This is Heroes' Square. I assume all the statues here are heroes. I don't know why. Something just tells me.

This was my favorite meal of the trip. Our book recommended this restaurant and due to a slight language barrier, I ordered something off the menu that I wasn't quite sure exactly what it was. I heard these words: pork, chopped, crepe, paprika sauce. How bad can something in a crepe and drowned in paprika sauce be? Turns out, it was essentially a burrito, filled with what tasted like Carolina BBQ, topped with a slightly spicy paprika sauce and a dollop of sour cream on top. And there you have it. A Carolina BBQ Burrito.

You may have noticed the photographic theme of the trip was "Heather with massive amounts of food in front of her." This is me with the cheese plate we ordered. When we ordered a cheese plate, we assumed it would be maybe like 4 kinds of cheese, a couple of pieces of each. We couldn't have been more wrong.

Jason went to the bathroom. I got bored. I made cheese fangs.

Fact: it is really hard to hold in cheese fangs when you're laughing.

I'm not sure why stuff like this amuses us. But it does. Keeps us young I reckon. Also, could've been the wine with lunch and the champagne with the cheese plate.

I think the name of the restaurant is pronounced "Pdlkfsjdfhskjfnskdifh sffskjdfhskfhesuf"

Here's Jason on the bank of the Danube.

Does this make my butt look big?

At dinner. This was the only non-Hungarian meal we had.

After dinner, we decided to walk along the river and look at the bridges and buildings lit up at night.

And a self-indulgent self-portrait photo shoot. Smoochy smoochy.

Jason made me climb up on the bridge for this photo. Cars were whizzing by and I was slightly petrified.

Across the river, you can see a church that's built into a cave. They call it Cave Church. Clever, no?

The view back across bridge after we crossed to check out the Cave Church.

A stained glass window inside the Cave Church.

We decided to hike all the way up to the top of Gellert Hill and when we finally made it to the Liberation Monument, I celebrated. Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery you know.

The view from top of the hill was totally worth the hike.

More bridge pictures... This is the Elizabeth Bridge.

And we were so so so lucky to make it back up the hill (courtesy, once again, of the FUNicular) just in time to watch the Chain Bridge light up. It was magical.

Dusk is the BEST time to take photos. This is Fishermens' Bastion. Despite it's name, it was never used as a defense building. It's merely a viewing terrace. And what a view it is...

This was our last night so Jason got the staff in the hotel bar to fashion a birthday cake of some sort. They weren't really familiar with the concept of "birthday candles" so my cake came out with a tealight sitting on top of it. Brilliant. And some incredibly good sporting bar employees sang Happy Birthday to me in Hungarian. The best part was that Jason was trying to mumble along in the background.

And the hotel's entertainment for the evening was traditional Hungarian "gypsy music". While it was interesting to watch in the moment, it's not really the sort of music one wants to listen to regularly. However, Jason got cornered when the guy came around hawking their CD's. So he bought one. And to express their gratitude, they asked if Jason woud like them to play a song. So he told them Moon River was my favorite. This turned out to be my worst nightmare. He played the violin about 6 inches from my face the entire time. It could not have possibly been a more awkward situation. I could have KILLED Jason. All that was going through my head was "Just keep sipping the champagne and it'll all be over soon. Just keep sipping..."

We didn't take any pictures at it, but we went to a massive antique market that day. Jason was looking at the Hummels because his grandmother had collected them. This very aggressive stall-holder would not let us leave until we bought his "Antique" and "Super-Antique!". We talked him down to less than half of what he wanted for them. The equivalent of about 100.00 GBP. And I made fun of Jason all day for buying Hummels, which are a very old-lady thing to buy. Then we got back to London and researched it and it turns out that the "Super-Antique!" (the big one) is worth about 700.00 GBP. Mmmm, words are yummy.

That's all folks. Click here to see the rest of the pics!


andrea said...

I love the bridge, it is like the Road of Bones all over again!

And really? You couldn't look more annoyed in that video with the violinist and I would have been the same way!

Aunt Sandy said...

Sounds and looks like you had a wonderful trip in a beautiful place!
Love you!

Beth said...

I can't decide which I like more - the cheese fangs, dancing or Jason and the Hummels. You guys rock!

Monique said...

LOL I love the bridge! too funny
and that 'sharing plate' is ridiculously large WOW! Great photos:) oh and the cheese fangs - that cracked me up!

A Novelist said...

I love the pics; and the one of you and Jason sharing a tender moment is adorable! I'm glad you both had a good time! :)

Melanie said...

Geezth mom...have you wasthed my jersey for the Panthersss game? And do you know where my pencil cassthe is? Oh lord...that is the infamous night of the finger bang song...aahhh the memories. I don't think I cannot leave a comment without mentioning the fingerbang. Hahaha! I missth you! Glad Budapest rocked!!!